How to do responsible shopping

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Earth Day is a worldwide annual event celebrated on April 22. This year it will focus on climate literacy to empower global citizens with knowledge, to inspire action for environmental protection. We can help our planet with every little thing we do, by donating, volunteering… or even shopping. Yes, you got that right. It’s important to learn how to do responsible shopping by brands that give back to the Earth and its inhabitants. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Let’s see together how buying products can support the cause!
The first Earth Day celebrations were held in 1970, after peace activist John McConnell, at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. It was established it was to be celebrated the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by the United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, on April 22. He in fact thought it was later enough in Spring to have a decent weather, and after the Easter celebrations. In 1990 it became international and events to honor the Earth were held in 141 nations.
I have selected three brands that do their part by raising awareness and giving back to our world and society. There are so many more and I’d love to hear from you if you know others, as I’m a huge fan of responsible shopping. If it comes to buying something, I always make sure that they don’t test products on animals… and that they somehow help the environment or the people.
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Original Grain is a brand started in 2013 when Ryan and Andrew Beltran were inspired to create a new kind of watch. Their mission was to create unique timepieces that seamlessly integrated natural hardwood and stainless steel. Original Grain is today very well known for the craftsmanship that goes into each design and the traditional woodworking techniques. Every watch is different.
The brand gives back to the community and is raising awareness on sustainably sourced materials. Brothers Beltran in fact partnered with Trees for the Future in Senegal: every watch sold will plant trees, feed families and change lives. Buying an Original Grains watch directly impacts the lives of 1.600 families, alleviating hunger and reducing poverty. The Forest Garden Program has a simple approach. They plant specific types of trees and crops over a four year period. This approach provides families with sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, fuel wood and up to 400% increase in their annual income. You will thus directly help the Earth and lives of the people who need it the most. The project is in fact specifically designed to help families to transition from destructive farming techniques to a system that sustains and empowers them, changing their lives forever. Not only for the people, but also for our planet.
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Water is the most essential element to life on Earth. It covers more than two thirds of the Earth’s surface, yet only 2.5% of this is fresh water. The lack of water spreads diseases, compromises safety and makes education elusive. The lack of access to safe water is thus dangerous, as it becomes also a major obstacle to the people of developing nations. We take water for granted, but there are so many people who have to walk for miles to get some safe water, if even.
By learning how to do responsible shopping, choosing brands that save on water and raise awareness, we can help not only the world but also the developing countries.

STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME! creates natural cosmetics that conserve resources. A small team of creative minds decided to start producing the first organic cosmetics range that encourages people to save water (you can se it written all over the bottles, so you won’t forget!). These products are from 100% natural ingredients and the packaging is fully recyclable. I even refilled it, because the travel kit they sell is the perfect size that you can bring with you on your trips, so these little bottles can be particularly useful for us travellers!

This team is managed by Kaya-Line Knust, in Hamburg, and spreads the eco-friendly appeal. From shampoo to conditioner, from shower gel to hand soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, there’s something for everyone. STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME! is particularly well known now, but this label didn’t sit on its achievements: they didn’t want to stop giving back.
Their Good Water Projects thus support intelligent projects aimed at water conservation and the provision of drinking water. The first project was launched on International World Water Day 2014 with the construction of fog nets in Tanzania (Africa). Since 2016 this brand has been bringing fresh drinking water to Kenyan schools with their new project Drop for Change. 2017 started with the Water Kiosk project, partnering with WSUP, it provides drinking water up to 500 families in Madagascar. With the purchase of any limited Good Water Projects Edition product, 10% of the proceeds will flow directly into this initiative.

I don’t know about you, but I think that buying organic producs good for my body and that help the world at the same time is a win-win.

 

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Would you have guessed that underwear is the most needed, under-donated item clothing in the US?
Hayley, founder of MADI Apparel, did some research and discovered that underwear is always on the top of the needed list at most domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and sexual assault clinics. According to several organizations, underwear is an assisting factor in helping a woman feel confident and comfortable during times of distress and healing. After a rape, underwear is taken away for evidence from the police. Fresh underwear that is comfortable and nice is like a new start for these women.
In 2012, after a close family member confided in her about an abusive relationship, Hayley decided to create MADI Apparel, a common woman’s name for a brand that wants to help women in need.
MADI aims to make a difference in all areas, producing all the underwear in America, to create new jobs and oversee production of fair labor. For every pair you buy for yourself, a pair of undies is given to a woman in need. Yet if you believe they are giving out cheaper underwear, think again: the women in the shelters will receive the same high-quality fabric undies that you buy for yourself.
Sure, the price is a bit higher than usual, but their intimates are luxurious, particularly soft and long lasting: this reduces waste, especially because they use bamboo, the fastest growing plant in the world, for their organic fabric. The underwear is cut and sewn in Kansas City (USA) and aims to make a difference domestically and globally.
MADI is a brand developed around four core values: Heart, Confidence, Comfort and Wearability. Their style is simple and comfortable, with intimates created with organic fabric and floral laces to make you always feel at your best. Just like they try to do for the victims of rape, domestic violence or the survivors of hurricanes and tornados.

Do you know other brands that help the world and its inhabitants? Please, share your thoughts and your finds with us!

 

Consider using these tips also for Christmas. Here you can find my guide to the perfect Christmas gifts!

Full disclosure: Post written in collaboration with Original Grain, Stop the water while using me! and Madi Apparel. These are all brands I personally use and love, yet none of the ideas expressed in this blog post are shared, supported, or endorsed in any manner by them.

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